Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 01/28/2022 Gr 2–5—Combining the talents of composer Auerbach and poet Nelson with the illustrations of Hoppe, this collection of poems is a lyrical and colorful introduction to the orchestra. Starting as most concerts and rehearsals do, the oboe plays an opening A note, and what follows are brief, but musical, poems about the instruments, people, and vocabulary often associated with an orchestra. Readers get not only a cursory introduction to each section but also a sense of the role each instrument and person might play. In a tribute to the French horn, the instrument is noted for its "hoity-toity haughtiness, his highfalutin brassiness." At first, the assignment of gender might feel a bit clumsy, but the authors explain that for most musicians, musical instruments aren't things but rather beings they refer to as "he" or "she" and that some instruments could be considered "gender-bending." Hoppe's vibrant illustrations not only add to the meaning of each poem but also help share the message that the orchestra is for everyone. Careful representation showcases musicians of a variety of genders, ethnicities, and religions. Also represented is a variety of skill levels, reminding them that the orchestra isn't just for a small elite group of people. Although at times the vocabulary used might be a bit elevated for the target audience, a skillful librarian or teacher will be able to help readers navigate through these passages. VERDICT This fine overview of the orchestra is a great fit for all collections, especially school libraries, where music teachers could use this resource for instruction.—Louie Lauer - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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